How Hanes Tagless Underwear shows us where good ideas come from by Dale Goldberg

 How long have we been complaining about the tags on our clothes? They're itchy, they look tacky when they stick out, and they're just plain annoying. So why do clothiers continue to put them on our clothes? Because it's the only way to tell us how to wash? More likely, it's simply because that's the way it's always been done. 

Think about it. If you go to work for a clothing company and they tell you that you're going to stick an annoying tag on the clothes because that's how clothes are made, who are you to argue? History would invariably confirm that statement for you. So why think any differently? 

The truth, however, is that this is exactly where good ideas come from. Taking an industry standard and flipping it on its head. Is it just me, or does tagless underwear seem like a really obvious idea? It might be more expensive to make but that only means you get to charge more for people to buy your product. So why not do it?  

If we look at the history of good ideas, we'll see a similar pattern. Cell phones were arguably the bane of our existence till the iPhone came out. Now pretty much everyone has a smart phone of some kind. People were dying in car accidents till the seat belt was added to cars by the now defunct auto manufacturer Tucker (there's a movie about it that's very good by the way). The only way to listen to music on the go was to carry around a boom box on your shoulder till Sony invented the Walkman. 

Bottom line here is, good ideas come from a place of identifying need. Look at your own life. What are some things that annoy the crap out of you? Can you think of a way to make it better? Go do it. You might be surprised at how simple it is.